Courtier and Commoner in Ancient China

Selections from the History of the Former Han

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Author: Gu Ban

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231083546

Category: History

Page: 282

View: 1824

Pan Ku's celebrated and influential History of the Former Han has been a model for dynastic history since its appearance in the first century A.D.Burton Watson has translated ten chapters from the biography section, including the lives of imperial princes, generals, officials, and some lesser figures.

The Dao of the Military

Liu An's Art of War

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Author: N.A

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231526881

Category: Religion

Page: 160

View: 4137

Master Sun's The Art of War is by no means the only ancient Chinese treatise on military affairs. One chapter in the Huainanzi, an important compendium of philosophy and political theory written in the second century BCE, synthesizes the entire corpus of military literature inherited from the Chinese classical era. Drawing on all major, existing military writings, as well as other lost sources, it assesses tactics and strategy, logistics, organization, and political economy, as well as cosmology and the fundamental morality of warfare. This powerful work set out to become the last word on military matters, subsuming and replacing all preceding literature. Written under the sponsorship of Liu An, king of Huainan, the Huainanzi's "military methods" emphasize the preservation of peace as the ultimate value to be served by the military, insisting that the army can be effectively and rightly used only when defending the sacred hereditary position of the emperor and his vassals. This position stands in stark contrast to that of The Art of War, which prioritizes the enrichment and empowerment of the state. Liu An's philosophy also argues that military success depends on the personal cultivation of the commander and that deception is not enough to secure victory. Only a commander with the exceptional qualities of insight and cognition, developed through a program of meditative practice and yogic refinement, can effectively control and interpret the strategic situation. Andrew Seth Meyer offers both a full translation of this text and an extensive analysis of its historical context. His thorough treatment relates Liu An's teachings to issues in Chinese philosophy, culture, religion, and history, helping to interpret their uncommon message.

Tamil Love Poetry

The Five Hundred Short Poems of the Ainkurunuru

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Author: Martha Ann Selby

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231521588

Category: Poetry

Page: 256

View: 6744

Dating from the early decades of the third century C.E., the Ainkurunuru is believed to be the world's earliest anthology of classical Tamil love poetry. Commissioned by a Cera-dynasty king and composed by five masterful poets, the anthology illustrates the five landscapes of reciprocal love: jealous quarreling, anxious waiting and lamentation, clandestine love before marriage, elopement and love in separation, and patient waiting after marriage. Despite its centrality to literary and intellectual traditions, the Ainkurunuru remains relatively unknown beyond specialists. Martha Ann Selby, well-known translator of classical Indian poetry and literature, takes the bold step of opening this anthology to all readers, presenting crystalline translations of 500 poems dense with natural imagery and early examples of South Indian culture. Because of their form's short length, the anthology's five authors rely on double entendre and sophisticated techniques of suggestion, giving their poems an almost haikulike feel. Groups of verse center on one unique figure, in some cases an object or an animal, in others a line of direct address or a specific conversation or situation. Selby introduces each section with a biographical sketch of the poet and the conventions at work within the landscape. She then incorporates notes explaining shifting contexts. Excerpt: He has gone off all by himselfbeyond the wasteswhere tigers used to prowland the toothbrush trees grow tall,their trunks parched,on the flinty mountains, while the lovely folds of your loins, wide as a chariot's seat, vanish as your circlet worked from gold grows far too large for you.

Mencius

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Author: Mencius

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231520581

Category: Philosophy

Page: 208

View: 2415

Known throughout East Asia as Mengzi, or "Master Meng," Mencius (391-308 B.C.E.) was a Chinese philosopher of the late Zhou dynasty, an instrumental figure in the spread of the Confucian tradition, and a brilliant illuminator of its ideas. Mencius was active during the Warring States Period (403-221 B.C.E.), in which competing powers sought to control the declining Zhou empire. Like Confucius, Mencius journeyed to one feudal court after another, searching for a proper lord who could put his teachings into practice. Only a leader who possessed the moral qualities of a true king could unify China, Mencius believed, and in his defense of Zhou rule and Confucian philosophy, he developed an innovative and highly nuanced approach to understanding politics, self-cultivation, and human nature, profoundly influencing the course of Confucian thought and East Asian culture. Mencius is a record of the philosopher's conversations with warring lords, disciples, and adversaries of the Way, as well as a collection of pronouncements on government, human nature, and a variety of other philosophical and political subjects. Mencius is largely concerned with the motivations of human actors and their capacity for mutual respect. He builds on the Confucian idea of ren, or humaneness, and places it alongside the complementary principle of yi, or rightness, advancing a complex notion of what is right for certain individuals as they perform distinct roles in specific situations. Consequently, Mencius's impact was felt not only in the thought of the intellectual and social elite but also in the value and belief systems of all Chinese people.

The Kojiki

An Account of Ancient Matters

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Author: no Yasumaro Ō

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023153812X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 320

View: 9166

Japan's oldest surviving narrative, the eighth-century Kojiki, chronicles the mythical origins of its islands and their ruling dynasty through a diverse array of genealogies, tales, and songs that have helped to shape the modern nation's views of its ancient past. Gustav Heldt's engaging new translation of this revered classic aims to make the Kojiki accessible to contemporary readers while staying true to the distinctively dramatic and evocative appeal of the original's language. It conveys the rhythms that structure the Kojiki's animated style of storytelling and translates the names of its many people and places to clarify their significance within the narrative. An introduction, glossaries, maps, and bibliographies offer a wealth of additional information about Japan's earliest extant record of its history, literature, and religion.

Traditional Japanese Literature

An Anthology, Beginnings to 1600

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Author: Haruo Shirane

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231157304

Category: History

Page: 578

View: 9915

Haruo Shirane's critically acclaimed Traditional Japanese Literature: An Anthology, Beginnings to 1600, contains key examples of both high and low styles of poetry, drama, prose fiction, and essays. For this abridged edition, Shirane retains substantial excerpts from such masterworks as The Tale of Genji, The Tales of the Heike, The Pillow Book, the Man'yoshu, and the Kokinshu. He preserves his comprehensive survey of secular and religious anecdotes ( setsuwa) as well as classical poems with extensive commentary. He features no drama; selections from influential war epics; and notable essays on poetry, fiction, history, and religion. Texts are interwoven to bring into focus common themes, styles, and allusions while inviting comparison and debate. The result is a rich encounter with ancient and medieval Japanese culture and history. Each text and genre is enhanced by extensive introductions that provide sociopolitical and cultural context. The anthology is organized by period, genre, and topic -- an instructor-friendly structure -- and a comprehensive bibliography guides readers toward further study. Praise for Traditional Japanese Literature: An Anthology, Beginnings to 1600 "Haruo Shirane has done a splendid job at this herculean task." -- Joshua Mostow, University of British Columbia "A comprehensive and innovative anthology.... All of the introductions are excellent." -- Journal of Asian Studies "One of those impressive, erudite, must-have titles for anyone interested in Asian literature." -- Bloomsbury Review "An anthology that comprises superb translations of an exceptionally wide range of texts.... Highly recommended." -- Choice "A wealth of material." -- Monumenta Nipponica

Record of Miraculous Events in Japan

The Nihon ryoiki

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Author: N.A

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231535163

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 224

View: 5910

The Nihon ryoiki, a collection of setsuwa, or "anecdotal" tales, compiled by a monk in late-eighth- or early-ninth-century Japan, records the spread of Buddhist ideas in Japan and the ways in which Buddhism's principles were adapted to the conditions of Japanese society. Beginning in the time before Buddhism was introduced to Japan, the text captures the effects of the nation's initial contact with Buddhism—brought by emissaries from the king of the Korean state of Paekche—and the subsequent adoption and dissemination of these new teachings in Japanese towns and cities. The Nihon ryoiki provides a crucial window into the ways in which Japanese Buddhists began to make sense of the teachings and texts of their religion, incorporate religious observances and materials from Korea and China, and articulate a popularized form of Buddhist practice and belief that could extend beyond monastic centers. The setsuwa genre would become one of the major textual projects of classical and medieval Buddhism, with nearly two dozen collections appearing over the next five centuries. The Nihon ryoiki serves as a vital reference for these later works, with the tales it contains finding their way into folkloric traditions and becoming a major source for Japanese authors well into the modern period.

Zongmi on Chan

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Author: Jeffrey Lyle Broughton

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231513089

Category: Religion

Page: 376

View: 3140

Japanese Zen often implies that textual learning (gakumon) in Buddhism and personal experience (taiken) in Zen are separate, but the career and writings of the Chinese Tang dynasty Chan master Guifeng Zongmi (780-841) undermine this division. For the first time in English, Jeffrey Broughton presents an annotated translation of Zongmi's magnum opus, the Chan Prolegomenon, along with translations of his Chan Letter and Chan Notes. The Chan Prolegomenon persuasively argues that Chan "axiom realizations" are identical to the teachings embedded in canonical word and that one who transmits Chan must use the sutras and treatises as a standard. Japanese Rinzai Zen has, since the Edo period, marginalized the sutra-based Chan of the Chan Prolegomenon and its successor text, the Mind Mirror (Zongjinglu) of Yongming Yanshou (904-976). This book contains the first in-depth treatment in English of the neglected Mind Mirror, positioning it as a restatement of Zongmi's work for a Song dynasty audience. The ideas and models of the Chan Prolegomenon, often disseminated in East Asia through the conduit of the Mind Mirror, were highly influential in the Chan traditions of Song and Ming China, Korea from the late Koryo onward, and Kamakura-Muromachi Japan. In addition, Tangut-language translations of Zongmi's Chan Prolegomenon and Chan Letter constitute the very basis of the Chan tradition of the state of Xixia. As Broughton shows, the sutra-based Chan of Zongmi and Yanshou was much more normative in the East Asian world than previously believed, and readers who seek a deeper, more complete understanding of the Chan tradition will experience a surprising reorientation in this book.

The Orphan of Zhao and Other Yuan Plays

The Earliest Known Versions

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Author: Stephen H. West,Wilt L. Idema

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231538103

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 432

View: 6841

This is the first anthology of Yuan-dynasty zaju (miscellaneous comedies) to introduce the genre to English-speaking readers exclusively through translations of the plays' fourteenth-century editions. Almost all previous translations of Yuan-dynasty zaju are based on late-Ming regularized editions that were heavily adapted for performance at the Ming imperial court and then extensively revised in the seventeenth century for the reading pleasure of Jiangnan literati. These early editions are based on leading actor scripts and contain arias, prose dialogue, and cue lines. They encompass a fascinating range of subject matter, from high political intrigue to commoner life and religious conversion. Crackling with raw emotion, violent imagery, and colorful language and wit, the zaju in this volume explore the consequences of loyalty and betrayal, ambition and enlightenment, and piety and drunkenness. The collection features seven of the twenty-six available untranslated zaju published in the fourteenth century, with a substantial introduction preceding each play and extensive annotations throughout. The editors also include translations of the Ming versions of four of the included plays and an essay that synthesizes recent Chinese and Japanese scholarship on the subject.

Zeami

Performance Notes

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Author: Motoyiko Zeami

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231511418

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 528

View: 5132

Zeami (1363-1443), Japan's most celebrated actor and playwright, composed more than thirty of the finest plays of no drama. He also wrote a variety of texts on theater and performance that have, until now, been only partially available in English. Zeami: Performance Notes presents the full range of Zeami's critical thought on this subject, which focused on the aesthetic values of no and its antecedents, the techniques of playwriting, the place of allusion, the training of actors, the importance of patronage, and the relationship between performance and broader intellectual and critical concerns. Spanning over four decades, the texts reflect the essence of Zeami's instruction under his famous father, the actor Kannami, and the value of his long and challenging career in medieval Japanese theater. Tom Hare, who has conducted extensive studies of no academically and on stage, begins with a comprehensive introduction that discusses Zeami's critical importance in Japanese culture. He then incorporates essays on the performance of no in medieval Japan and the remarkable story of the transmission and reproduction of Zeami's manuscripts over the past six centuries. His eloquent translation is fully annotated and includes Zeami's diverse and exquisite anthology of dramatic songs, Five Sorts of Singing, presented both in English and in the original Japanese.

Exemplary Women of Early China

The Lienü zhuan of Liu Xiang

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Author: Xiang Liu

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231536089

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 8726

In early China, was it correct for a woman to disobey her father, contradict her husband, or shape the public policy of a son who ruled over a dynasty or state? According to the Lienü zhuan, or Categorized Biographies of Women, it was not only appropriate but necessary for women to step in with wise counsel when fathers, husbands, or rulers strayed from the path of virtue. Compiled toward the end of the Former Han dynasty (202 BCE-9 CE) by Liu Xiang (79-8 BCE), the Lienü zhuan is the earliest extant book in the Chinese tradition solely devoted to the education of women. Far from providing a unified vision of women's roles, the text promotes a diverse and sometimes contradictory range of practices. At one extreme are exemplars resorting to suicide and self-mutilation as a means to preserve chastity and ritual orthodoxy. At the other are bold and outspoken women whose rhetorical mastery helps correct erring rulers, sons, and husbands. The text provides a fascinating overview of the representation of women's roles in early legends, formal speeches on statecraft, and highly fictionalized historical accounts during this foundational period of Chinese history. Over time, the biographies of women became a regular feature of dynastic and local histories and a vehicle for expressing and transmitting concerns about women's social, political, and domestic roles. The Lienü zhuan is also rich in information about the daily life, rituals, and domestic concerns of early China. Inspired by its accounts, artists across the millennia have depicted its stories on screens, paintings, lacquer ware, murals, and stone relief sculpture, extending its reach to literate and illiterate audiences alike.

The role of the chou ("clown") in traditional Chinese drama

comedy, criticism, and cosmology on the Chinese stage

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Author: Ashley Thorpe

Publisher: Edwin Mellen Pr

ISBN: N.A

Category: Drama

Page: 351

View: 3653

This is the first Western language book to examine the chou ("clown") role-type in traditional Chinese drama--a role-type credited with so much importance that some critics insist that "without the chou, there would not be drama." This assertion is evaluated through an analysis of historical documents and translated play texts, fieldwork research, and from perspectives of ethnomusicology and anthropology.

Choice

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Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Academic libraries

Page: N.A

View: 7503

Chinese Mythology

An Introduction

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Author: Anne Birrell

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Social Science

Page: 322

View: 6772

"We must all thank Professor Birrell for providing an incredibly bountiful source, containing all manner of practical and fascinating information within its framework of myths. This book should find many uses and readers -- it is a superb resource for teaching about Chinese myth, literature, history, religion, culture, and thought." -- Suzanne Cahill, The Journal of Asian Studies In Chinese Mythology, Anne Birrell provides English translations of some 300 representative myth narratives selected from over 100 classical texts, many of which have never before been translated into any Western language. Organizing the narratives according to themes and motifs common to world mythology, Birrell addresses issues of source, dating, attribution, textural variants, multiforms, and context. Drawing on exhaustive work in comparative mythology, she surveys the development of Chinese myth studies, summarizes the contribution of Chinese and Japanese scholars to the study of Chinese myth since the 1920s, and examines special aspects of traditional approaches to Chinese myth. The result is an unprecedented guide to the study of Chinese myth for specialists and nonspecialists alike. "Goes far beyond anything in or out of print on this subject. Nothing remotely of this stimulating nature and high quality exists in English. It will be very much sought after by sinologists, but especially by non-sinologist comparativists. Birrell has singlehandedly saved the scholarly world at least a decade in its attempts to come to grips with this fragmented, refractory body of narratives... [A] marvelous work of humanistic scholarship." -- Victor H. Mair, University of Pennsylvania "The first serious and comprehensive introduction to Chinese mythology aimed at both the specialist and general reader. It is splendidly organized with well-chosen texts, lucid commentary, and useful supplementary matter... Sets new standards in the presentation of Chinese mythology." -- Asian Affairs "One can safely expect to see this volume in all libraries that serve educated general readers as well as even the most modest academic libraries. Anne Birrell is to be congratulated for bringing this arcane subject matter into the grasp of a wide variety of readers outside the China-studies area." -- Robert E. Hegel, Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews

Telling Images of China

Narrative and Figure Paintings, 15th-20th Century from the Shanghai Museum

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Author: Shane McCausland,Lizhong Ling

Publisher: Scala Books

ISBN: N.A

Category: Art

Page: 159

View: 2770

Each of the 35 narrative and figure paintings selected from the Shanghai Museum and featured in this exquisite book, retell a story from Chinese legend, folklore or history. Album leaf, fan, handscroll and hanging-scroll paintings demonstrate the dynamic